Super-powerful laser creates plasma hotter than the sun

Shane McGlaun - May 22, 2015, 6:30am CDT
Super-powerful laser creates plasma hotter than the sun

The sun is very, very hot. We have all known this since grade school. Scientists have created an incredibly powerful laser that can create plasma that is many times hotter than the center of the sun. The incredibly powerful laser that is able to create the intensely heated plasma has 200-trillion watts of power. The photo here is a shot of that laser and the incredibly bright spot is the super hot plasma.

The photo was taken at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the laser is called the Trident Laser. The team says that invisible infrared light from the 200-trillion watt laser enters from the bottom and interacts with a thick foil target in the center of the photo.

The laser pulse produces a plasma of ionized gas that is many times hotter than the center of the sun. One reason the laser survives the intense heat is that the pulse of plasma lasts only a trillionth of a second. A lot happens during that incredibly shot time though.

Some of the electrons from the foil are accelerated nearly to the speed of light and some ions are accelerated to energies of tens of millions of volts. The green light in the image is caused by the second harmonic of the laser-plasma interface. The orange streaks are bit of debris from the target that ricochet from the surrounding environment.

SOURCE: Gizmdo


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